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As you say, things will wear out after 16 years and 113k miles, even on otherwise reliable vehicles. Price to pay for owning any vehicle, but especially one that's paid for. If you are lucky, the fixes will happen one at a time over a few months rather than all at once. But compare that with new car cost, sales tax, probable increased insurance (I drop collision coverage).

You are lucky to have a good mechanic. As you are doing, keep him happy and his business going strong by buying parts from him that might cost more than Walmart's.

I drive them until they either rust through structural parts or need a repair that quadruples the value of a vehicle that's leaving piles of rust on the driveway. But I have the luxury of owning a 2nd vehicle 11 years younger that I take on long trips. Since you only have one vehicle, reliability becomes an issue. On the other hand new vehicles have recalls and more electronic sensors and 'puters to go bad.

You've already blundered big time by driving that 2020 so the buy bug has infected you. Good luck.
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